No action will be taken against a coal seam gas company that "accidentally" drilled an underground directional gas well into a farmer's property earlier this year.
In January, multinational gas company Arrow Energy was drilling a well 425m below a property in the Ducklo area near Dalby when it "inadvertently over-drilled" 13.875m across the property line into the Newton family's property.
Wayne and Bev Newton run a family partnership with their son Greg and daughter-in-law Lisa, and have been growing crops on the area's prime agricultural land for 43 years.
Arrow said it immediately notified the government and the family.
The Newtons complained to the Department of Resources on January 25, which investigated and determined on April 8 it would "not be taking any enforcement action in this instance".
Bev Newton said it was worrying that an energy company's drilling experts could overshoot the length of a well and that the government was not prepared to reprimand them.
"I find it hard to believe that a company like Arrow, and their contractors, supposedly experts in the drilling industry, can continue to be non-compliant," Mrs Newton said.
"An individual fined for speeding can simply not claim that the offence was accidental and suffer no consequences."
The decision follows the $1 million fine the government issued to Arrow on March 31 for illegally drilling 48 wells under 13 farms from 2018 until early 2022 without telling the landowners or having the appropriate entry approvals, equating to $20,833 per well.
At the time, Resources Minister Scott Stewart said a line would be drawn under the behaviour.
However, Mrs Newton alleged their "accidental well" was not included in that tally.
"It is therefore beyond belief that the government department in charge of making sure legislation is abided by, then turns a blind eye to non-compliance issues," Mrs Newton said.
A department spokesperson said a six-month targeted campaign of checks would start later this month on gas operations across the Surat Basin to ensure all operations were meeting their obligations.
In coming to its decision on the over-drilling, the department gave four reasons why the incident did not warrant further action.
It said Arrow self-reported to both the department and the Newtons immediately after becoming aware of the incident, and "the entry was accidental".
Further, it said Arrow had complied with all land access requirements relevant to the entry of other private land, and Arrow issued the Newtons with an entry notice in "good faith" post incident, even though there was "no legislative requirement".
In a statement, an Arrow Energy spokesperson said it took the matter very seriously.
"While the department of resources has investigated this incident and concluded this was an inadvertent over-drill, Arrow took the matter very seriously and implemented its own process improvements some months ago," the spokesperson said.
Want daily news highlights delivered to your inbox? Sign up to the Queensland Country Life newsletter below.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.